It's that time of year when the holidays have passed, the nights are long, the weather is frigid, and moral can be low. But don't fret! Even though we have months 'til boating season, there are still plenty of amazing things to do to boost your mood, get you moving, and maybe even help cure that tricky seasonal depression.
Someone wise once told me, "There is no such thing as cold, only improper clothing.". So with that mindset moving forward, here are some of our favorite things to do this time of year.
1. Ice skating
Being from Minnesota, this should be no shock. For those of you that may not be familiar, Minnesota is nicknamed "The State of Hockey" and is notorious for our hockey culture. During the winter months here, every surface you can think of that has water, freezes. Lakes, ponds, calm parts of rivers and streams, flooded ground, and even parking lots and yards are turned into hockey/skating rinks and are used by people of all ages.
If you're wanting to play puck, this type of hockey is known as Pond Hockey, and every year hockey players from around the nation head to the Midwest for the Pond Hockey Championship. So, if you have skills, or aren't well versed at hockey, you have plenty of chances participate or watch. Learn more about the Championship here.
Whether it be your neighborhood rink, your local barn, or the nice sheet you spent hours perfecting, strap on your skates and head out on the ice.
There is nothing quite like waking up and carving turns on a freshly groomed run first thing in the morning on a bluebird day. With cold air in your lungs and your body warm under 4 layers of clothing, the feeling of an open run with endless room for exploration is parallel to the feeling I get when I am boating. If you ditch the 4 layers and opt for a T Shirt, both skiing/snowboarding and boating provide a feeling of endless freedom and create a community of likeminded people who are all chasing the same carefree feeling.
There are plenty of locations to ski/snowboard in the United States, and no matter your personal skill level, there is an activity for everyone at these spots.
Afternoon après or basking at the sandbar... chairlift rides or winding through the channels... If you're a fan of boating, this may be your sign to grab your family and friends and hit the slopes.
Check out this U.S. News & World Report article on the Top 12 Best Ski Vacations in the U.S.A.
Here are some great spots to "Ski The East".
3. Ice Fishing
Yes, we love ice fishing. Haven't tried it? Well, you should, it's a blast-and-a-half.
Something we love about ice fishing is the history behind it. Historians believe ice fishing originated in the United States around 2,000 years ago with the indigenous peoples. They created this fishing technique to obtain food in the harsh winter months and since then ice fishing has developed into a long standing tradition that is still popular today.
Do you want to try ice fishing? Really all you really need is a bucket to sit on, something to cut the ice with, your fishing gear, and maybe some snacks & libations- but always make sure to dress warm!
Learn more about the history of ice fishing here.
Iceboating Photos by Erin Bury. Check out her Instagram: @erinbury5379
Haven't heard of this? We hadn't either until this winter, and it is so cool. Picture sailing, but instead of floating in the water you are flying across ice on thin blades attached to the bottom of your boat. Modern iceboats are made of steel where older boats are made of wood, but both are equipped with either one or two sails, depending on the size of the boat. Did we mention that these things fly across the water? With a strong wind these boats have been recorded going over 100 mph!
This sport is popular in the Northeast with the Eastern Ice Yachting Association and in the Upper Midwest with the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association. If you'd like to learn more about this sport, check out this article! We haven't tried it yet, but it's definitely on our list!
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Do you have any winter activities you'd like to tell us about? Leave a comment!